STRUGGLE IN THE PERSIAN GULF 275
both Spain and Portugal1) to take the silk, but his
proposals had not been well received ; and in England
the East India merchants had said "the way is long
and dangerous, the trade uncertain, and must quite cut
off our traffic with the Turk."
When Steele reached Isfahan, Sherley had returned to
Persia, and was preparing to start on a second mission
to the Court of Spain* Roe, the English Ambassador at
the Court of the Great Moghul, believing that he was
bound to succeed, was opposed to any further steps
towards utilizing the farman. The factors, however, at
a meeting held at Surat in A.D. 1616, decided that, owing
to the departure of Sherley (whom they regarded with
mistrust), the state of war existing between Persia and
Turkey, and the necessity of selling their broadcloth,
an attempt to trade should be made, and the event proved
that they were justified in their decision.
The Spanish Embassy to Per si a, 1618-1619.—While
Sherley was in Madrid on his second mission, the Spanish
government despatched an embassy to Persia headed by
Don Garcia de Silva y Figueroa, who wrote a voluminous
account of his journey. The Ambassador landed at
Hormuz, and travelling via Shiraz and Isfahan reached
the Persian Court at Kazvin. He was well received and
was favourably impressed by the Shah, but in the main
object of his mission, which was to obtain a guarantee for
the security of Hormuz, he was unsuccessful.
The Battle of Jask> A.D. 1620.—While Connock was
in Persia a strong Portuguese squadron from Hormuz
visited Jask in search of the James^ which had fortunately
returned to Surat. In A.D. 1618 it was decided to
continue the Persian trade, and the whole fleet assembled
at Surat was despatched to Jask, where the Portuguese
were found ready to intercept the English squadron.
There was a skirmish, followed by a period of inaction ;
but when the English realized that their opponents were
unwilling to attack, they bore down on the Portuguese,
and the historical engagement off the eastern point of
1 From 1580 to 1640 Portugal formed a portion of the Spanish Empire, and this
connexion was a prime factor in the decay of its power in the East.